The sight of a snake anywhere gives most people the creeps. Even before trying to figure if it is a dangerous, venomous or a non-venomous creature people have a fear of these slithering reptiles. When it comes to classifying snakes, there are venomous, poisonous and non-venomous. If you are wondering whether venomous and poisonous is the same thing then they are not. So what exactly is the difference and which snakes are harmful to other creatures? Let us understand more on these terms and the serpents in this article.
Difference Between Venomous and Poisonous Snakes
To go by biological definitions, venomous is a term for organisms that inject their poison through their stings or bites. Poisonous snakes are the ones that will unload the poison within you if you eat them.
So the major difference between the terms is in the form of delivery of the poison or toxin into your/prey's body. When it is directly injected via fangs or snake bites it is a venomous snake. When the venom gets directly injected in your blood it has extreme effects and can prove fatal. If you happen to eat the toxin or absorb it through something, it is a poison. So the correct term for snakes is a venomous snake. Poisonous is still not an alternate term which can be used for these reptiles.
Which Snakes are Dangerous?
Both poisonous and venomous snakes as well as the creatures are dangerous because both of them have toxins that will harm the body. Snakes use their venom as their defense. There ate three categories of this venom - hemotoxic, neurotoxic and cytotoxic of which hemotoxic is the most dangerous type. It attacks on your red blood cells and has diverse effects, affecting multiple organs at the same time. But to draw a comparison, venomous snakes are more dangerous since the toxins go directly into your blood. In case of ingesting a poison, it can still be administered out of your digestive system.
So does it make non-venomous snakes safe? No non-venomous snakes may not have the toxins but they still have fangs. They usually coil up around their prey and it results in heart failures, breathing problems and eventually death. Pythons are most famous for killing large preys by coiling around.
Some examples of venomous snakes are black mambas, carpet vipers, cobras, common kraits, Russell's viper, eastern brown snake, tiger snake, adders. Non-venomous snakes would include Anaconda, Python, vine snake, sand boa, wolf snake, garter snakes, king snakes.